Recently, the words "Barça" and "crisis" often appear in the same sentence.
In the past many years, Messi has been like a glue, often determining the outcome of the game, to a certain extent, to cover up the continuous expansion of the cracks in the Barcelona team.
However, this season, although Messi still performed well, Barcelona has fallen into a huge crisis. Especially after being slaughtered by Bayern 8-2 in the Champions League quarter-finals, this Barcelona seems to make it impossible to see any hope.
Around 2010, Barcelona set an example for European elite clubs in many ways. At that time, Barcelona had a young and visionary coach, a group of outstanding La Masia youth graduates, and a clear football concept and transfer strategy. In Guardiola's four seasons coaching, Barcelona built a team around the youth training team and won 14 championship trophies.
Now eight years have passed since Guardiola's departure, and only Messi, Busquets and Pique remain in the team. On and off the stadium, Barcelona are in big trouble.
Barcelona plans to rebuild the Camp Nou stadium. The project cost is between 600 million and 800 million US dollars. It should be completed next year, but so far it has not even started...
In Europe, the new crown epidemic has had an impact on the financial conditions of major clubs, and Barcelona has been particularly affected. According to a report released by UEFA earlier this year, in world football, Barcelona is the club with the highest gross salary for players and staff. According to Sporting Intelligence's "Global Sports Salary Survey" report, in the 2019-20 season, the average annual salary of Barcelona players reached 12.3 million US dollars.
According to the latest financial data released by Barcelona, as of June 30, 2019, the total salary of all Barcelona sports teams (including football, basketball and handball) reached 671 million euros (approximately 792 million US dollars), most of which are Flowed to the first team of football.
The Barcelona club’s total revenue in the 2018-19 season was 990 million euros (approximately 1.16 billion U.S. dollars). However, by this season, due to the cut off the revenue channels such as match tickets, TV broadcasts and museum tickets, in March this year, the first team players And the staff’s salaries were reduced by 70%, “to minimize the economic impact of the epidemic”.
Of course, Barcelona is not the only European football club to implement salary cuts, but this reflects Barcelona's current financial situation is very unstable.
As Barcelona no longer actively promotes youth players into the first team as they did in the past, instead choosing to spend huge sums of money to sign as famous players, the club's financial problems have been further exacerbated.
From the 2013-14 season so far, Barcelona’s cumulative spending in the transfer market has exceeded $1 billion.
In the summer of 2017, Neymar transferred from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain for $263 million. This income temporarily made up for the club’s funding gap, but in order to find a replacement for Neymar, Barcelona quickly spent the money.
Barcelona spent about 170 million US dollars to introduce Coutinho from Liverpool, but the latter suffered inconsistency at Barcelona and his performance fell far short of expectations. Less than two years after the transfer, he was loaned to Bayern Munich. Ironically, in the Champions League quarter-finals where the two teams met, Coutinho, who came off the bench, shot two shots and one passer.
In addition, Barcelona also signed Osman Dembele from Dortmund for 120 million US dollars (additional costs may reach 45 million US dollars). In the past three years, Dembele has only played 74 games for Barcelona due to frequent injuries.
Last summer, Barcelona signed French striker Griezmann from Atletico Madrid for a transfer fee of US$135 million, but so far, Griezmann’s performance has not reached the same level as when he played for Atletico Madrid... In the current financial difficulties Next, Barcelona also sold the potential young midfielder Atul to Juventus, in exchange for the 30-year-old Pjanic.
These transfer transactions not only had a negative impact on Barcelona's lineup, match results and club financial status, but also violated the core philosophy of Barcelona as a club.
Radio Catalunya correspondent Ernest Marcia Barus said: "From a monetary point of view, there is a problem with the way they (the top) run the club. Many high-priced players are not in Barcelona. To play famous. They did buy some excellent players, such as De Jong who is young and outstanding, but... he needs to adapt to our philosophy."
"However, if no one emphasizes this philosophy, it is very troublesome. If no leader tells the new players how Barcelona should play, then the team's only priority is how to win in a game. If we only consider this, we will never win the league championship."
"We can't play like a normal team. Some teams are better at adopting normal football styles, such as AC Milan and Inter Milan. They have a group of excellent players and don't need to play a unique and pleasing football. The game. But in Barcelona, the team needs to do more than just win the championship... it's not enough."
"Barca needs a reconstruction, but I am worried that the club does not have enough money to rebuild."
"The executives wanted to renovate the Camp Nou stadium, but the project has been suspended. They also need to build a new stadium for basketball and other professional sports teams, but it has also stopped. The club has no money to advance these projects."
In November 2012, Pep Guardiola's successor, Vilanova, sent 11 players from La Masia in a game against Levante at the same time, winning 4-0.
However, as time goes by, La Masia Academy seems to have lost its magic. In recent years, only Roberto has become a regular main player in the Barcelona first team.
"From 2004 to 2010, Barcelona has a policy to promote young players trained in La Masia into the first team." Marcia said, "When Guardiola was the head coach, for these players in La Masia For young players who grew up in West Asia, everything is easier. But since Guardiola left, the coaches who have coached Barcelona have focused on competing for the championship, and the current board will not force them to train and promote La Masia’s young players. Player. Over time, the Barcelona club gradually lost its soul."
"Barca may still be a competitive team, but it is losing its identity."
Marcia pointed out that, compared with training young people, Barcelona executives are more inclined to spend money to sign contracts to become famous stars. On the other hand, it is increasingly difficult for Barcelona to retain La Masia's most promising young players. Manchester City defender Eric Garcia, Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Harvey Simmons and Marc Jurado (who will join Manchester United) were once La Masia's hopeful stars, but they have left Barcelona to find another way out.
马西娅指出，与培训年轻人相比，巴塞罗那高管更倾向于花钱签合同成为著名明星。另一方面，对于巴塞罗那来说，留住拉马西亚最有前途的年轻球员变得越来越困难。曼城后卫埃里克·加西亚（Eric Garcia），巴黎圣日耳曼中场哈维·西蒙斯（Harvey Simmons）和马克·朱拉多（Marc Jurado）（将加入曼联）曾经是拉马西亚的希望之星，但他们已经离开巴塞罗那寻找另一种出路。
Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Pique, Puyol, Valdes... During Guardiola's coaching period, Barcelona has a group of outstanding La Masia academy graduates. In the past few years, many young players in La Masia have had high hopes, and Barcelona fans hope they can become the "next Harvey" or "next Iniesta".
"You can't expect to see La Masia (academy) send 4 players to the team's starting lineup every five years. This is unrealistic." Fabregas said in an interview, "Iniesta One of the best midfielders of all time, and Harvey is the same."
"But if you analyze their careers carefully, you will find that Iniesta only became a regular main player at the age of 22 and was regarded as a top player. In 2006, we (Arsenal) played with Barcelona. In a Champions League final, the 22-year-old Iniesta came off the bench in the second half, completely changing the game."
"Xavi went through a lot of ups and downs in Barcelona. When Guardiola coached Barcelona, Xavi was 28 years old and Guardiola told him: ‘Listen, you are the core of the team and the game will revolve around you.’"
"After the European Cup in 2008, Harvey had no results in Barcelona for two consecutive years. There were a lot of rumors at that time. Some people said that Harvey would leave Barcelona or he was not good enough... But Guardiola trusted him, so Suddenly, his strength seems to have reached a new level, and he has maintained a high level for another four to five years. So sometimes it is related to luck and the level of trust the head coach has in you."
With Messi’s career coming to an end, Marcia believes that the Barça board needs to get rid of the mentality of "winning at all costs", take risks, and strive to train youth players as advocated by legendary coach Cruyff.
"The team lineup is too thin and ageing, it is difficult to replace players like Xavi or Iniesta." Marcia explained, "A few years ago, Messi had a group of the best La Masia graduates around him. , So that team is extraordinary and has left a deep impression on people. As a club, we are losing a lot of things."
This season, Messi has been involved in off-court battles many times.
In February of this year, Messi, who has always been taciturn, publicly criticized Barcelona's sports director Abidal because the latter hinted that the former coach Valverde's dismissal should be blamed on Barcelona players. Barça club chairman Bartomeu organized an emergency meeting to avoid further aggravation of the conflict between the two sides, but since then, Messi has also expressed his dissatisfaction with the club twice.
“In the past 15 years, Messi’s performance has always been very good, making the club’s chairman, players and everyone around him better.” Marcia said, “Because Messi’s influence is too great, the club lacks direction. To a certain extent, his problems were covered up. But as he gradually slowed down, all the problems began to appear."
Earlier, in a Barcelona home game against Ebar, thousands of Barcelona fans waved white handkerchiefs in the stands of the Camp Nou and shouted "Bartomeu, resign" to express their dissatisfaction with the club's top management. ... According to media reports, Bartomeu hired a company to discredit Barcelona players on social media. This makes the fans angry.
Although Bartomeu is unlikely to resign, his term as chairman of Barcelona has only one year left.
Many Barcelona fans believe that in the history of the club, the 2021 Barcelona presidential election will be crucial. They hope this can be a turning point in Barcelona's destiny and that the new management will not make the mistakes of their predecessors.
"The new chairman can't repeat the same mistakes again." Former Barcelona player Francisco Arnault said. "I don't know what will happen in one, two or three years, but from the players, the chairman to the club’s organizational structure, Barcelona must Make a lot of changes."
"No one can predict the future, but this Barcelona certainly cannot win the championship as easily as in the past. Messi is also older. If the new chairman does not intend to exert much influence, then the change (the presidential election) is not important. But if the new appointment The chairman can exert influence, then real change will come soon."